Friends of the KARMAPA ~Noble Heart Austria ("Verein zur Förderung von Mitgefühl und Weisheit") ist ein freundschaftlicher Zusammenschluss von Menschen, welche die Buddha-Aktivität des jetzigen Karmapa (als die 17. Inkarnation der 900 Jahre alten Karmapa-Linie) unterstützen möchten und dabei insbesondere auch zum Ziel haben, einen Besuch Seiner Heiligkeit Karmapa Ogyen Trinle Dorjes in Österreich zu ermöglichen und vorzubereiten. Eine entsprechende Einladung wurde Seiner Heiligkeit in den letzten Jahren mehrfach überbracht und diese wurde von Seiner Heiligkeit dem Karmapa prinzipiell sehr positiv beantwortet. Nach einer ausreichenden Vorbereitungsphase wurde unser Verein Anfang 2016 gegründet von 30 Gründungsmitgliedern, welche dabei insgesamt 20 österreichische Dharma-Orden, Dharma-Zentren und Dharma-Gruppen, Ethnische Vereine und Tibetische Hilfsorganisationen vertreten. Wer immer das weltweite Wirken von S.H. Karmapa ebenfalls unterstützen möchte und insbesondere sich einen Besuch Seiner Heiligkeit in Österreich von Herzen wünscht, ist herzlich willkommen, unserem Verein Friends of the KARMAPA - Austria als Fördermitglied beizutreten - und wenn man möchte, sich auch mitzuengagieren. (Jahresfördermitgliedsbeitrag 50.- € bzw. 25 € für Jüngere bis 30 Jahre).
WHO IS THE KARMAPA?
Karmapa means the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas, or the one who carries out buddha-activity. In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously control their rebirth in order to continue their activity for the benefit of all sentient beings. On this pages of you will find an overview of the Karmapa lineage, and a brief introduction to the life and many activities of the present Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
The ffirst Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, was born in 1110. He was the ffirst of the great Tibetan masters to establish an incarnating lineage. Since his death in 1193, successive Karmapas have incarnated in this form of manifestation body (Skt. nirmanakaya), for sixteen lifetimes so far, and all have played a most important role in preserving and promulgating the Buddhist teachings of Tibet.
Prior to the birth of the ffirst Karmapa, the arrival of a Buddhist master, who would be known as the Karmapa, had been prophesied by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and the great tantric master of India, Guru Padmasambhava.
Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage in general and the Kagyu lineage in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism. (For more on the Karmapas prior to the Seventeenth, see the page on the Seventeen Karmapas.)
The Austrian association "Friends of the KARMAPA ~ Noble Heart Austria“ ("Association for the Encouragement of Compassion and Wisdom" ) can be seen as an amicable coming together and working together of people who want to support the Buddha activities of His Holiness the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the present 17th incarnation of the 900 years old Karmapa lineage. In this regard our common aim lies foremost in the wish to enable and arrange a visit of the Karmapa OgyenTrinley Dorje to Austria. In the last years invitations of this kind have already been conveyed to His Holiness by us and the Karmapa has responded in a very positive manner.
After an adequate phase of preparation our association was founded in early August 2016 by thirty founding members who altogether represent twenty Austrian Dharma congregations, Dharma centers, Dharma groups, ethnic communities and Tibetan aid organizations.
Whoever wishes to support us in making known the teachings and the activities of His Holiness as well, with the emphasis and heartfelt wish to facilitate a visit of His Holiness to Austria, is warmly welcome to join our association "Friends of the KARMAPA - Austria“ as supporting member (annual contribution 50€ per year, resp. 25€ by younger people up to age 30 ) and to actively engage in those matters if one wishes so.
The Kagyu lineage can be traced back more than a thousand years to a wild Indian yogin named Tilopa. He passed his realization of Mahamudra on to his principal student, the scholar Naropa, who in turn transmitted it to the Tibetan translator and farmer Marpa. Marpa’s leading student was the cave-dwelling ascetic and Tibetan national poet Milarepa, whose principal student was Gampopa, a monk and physician who established the first Kagyu monastery.
Gampopa’s most significant student was Tusum Khyenpa, whose contemporaries gave him the title Karmapa, “the man of Buddha activity.” Tusum Khyenpa decided that the best way to ensure the continuation of the lineage was to leave behind a letter telling the monastery how to find his next incarnation, who would then be installed as head of the lineage after a period of regency. The second Karmapa thus became the first formally recognized tulku, creating a system for maintaining continuity of the teachings that became widespread in Tibet.
It is the Karmapas’ role to ensure that the transmission of the practice lineage remains fresh and intact, not so much by being a good leader, which is important, but mainly by embodying the spirit and realization of Mahamudra’s true meaning. The actual experience of Mahamudra is beyond words, but Tilopa offered a pithy summation: “Mahamudra mind dwells nowhere.” It’s called the “Great Seal” because all that exists—good and bad, suffering and enlightenment, the beginning of the path and its fruition—is “sealed” with the mind’s true nature, which is empty, aware, and blissful.
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE KARMAPA IN THIS LIFETIME?
HH the Karmapa answered to this question in 2007:
The mission of the 17th Karmapa in this 21st century ins mainly Dharma activity. However, the Dharma must change in order to suit the time and the needs of socity and its peole. Its essence will still be Buddha Dharma, but I may give it a new external shape. I will update its expression so it can most effectively benefit the people of the 21st century. That is my mission.